- Brand: Blue Microphones
- Model: Blue Spark Digital Microphone
- Website: http://bluemic.com/spark_digital/
- RRP: £129.99 (At time of the review)
Blue Microphones have been around since 1995. Always striving to innovate they now create some of the finest digital microphones available on the market. All designed and built to do specific tasks and ultimately be affordable, the Blue Spark is the first of it’s kind combining conventional PC Connectivity and iOS support. This expands it’s usage beyond a simple desktop microphone. Expanding on the professional and sound of Blue’s Spark XLR studio microphone, Spark Digital features the same studio-grade condenser capsule and hand-tuned components for high-fidelity recording and consistence performance in any situation– vocals, drums, piano, speech, location recording and more.
But before I go into those areas lets take a look at the specifications.
As we can see from the connectivity information, this microphone is designed for connecting to a PC via USB 2.0 and is also designed to connect to iOS devices; this makes using Skype or recording podcasts or music extremely easy even when away from a computer.
As we can see from the image below Blue have gone all out with the packaging design clearly showing an image of the microphone that you are purchasing. The design is quite eye catching in my opinion.
On both sides of the box Blue have chosen to print the same image of the microphone.
The rear of the box gives us some specific information as to what this microphone is designed for and also gives a nice big clear image of a man using this microphone with an Apple device which is the main focal area of this microphone.
The stand and microphone is secured in place with decent and well secured packaging.
Firstly I want to take a look at the stand that comes with the Blue Spark, it is made out of steel and has a gloss silver finish. When I first took it out of the box I noticed that it was quite sturdy and had some weight to it also.
The microphone screws into place and is fitted with an elasticated cord wich is designed to reduce vibration from the surface it is situated on. This is good for higher quality recordings especially if you want to reduce all the background noise you can.
Also included inside the box is a velvet bag which also has a soft inner lining to help protect the microphone from any unwanted scratches or damage during transit. We also have instruction booklet and the two required USB cables.
Taking a closer look of the Microphone, and keeping with the Blue coloring from the packaging design, fitting the microphone to the stand was a simple process. Whilst it is not adjustable in height the stand allows the microphone to be titled to suit your needs. I found the elasticated central piece there the microphone sits helps avoid almost all vibration from the desk or table it has been placed on.
The Blue Spark digital is designed for recording music at the enthusiast level, I was unfortunately unable to test this at the time of reviewing The ‘Spark’ as I do not own an iOS device or play an instrument. But this did not detract from the microphones excellent design and ability to record audio. With that in mind I recorded an audio sample.
From the clip you can hear me speak quite clearly, I will note I was sitting less than a foot away from the microphone at the time. Though the Microphone does pick up some background noise, I do not know if this is coming from my system itself or is just the sensitivity of the microphone.
I used the microphone for several days whilst gaming or during Skype ca;;s and whilst the ‘Spark’ is not designed for general desktop usage it did excel at it.
One thing to note is that the Spark also has a 3.5mm audio jack connection attached to the USB and Lightening Adapter. This 3.5mm jack is there purely to allow the user to listen to themselves whilst recording any audio with the Spark Digital.
You can also increase the volume output and the audio gain via a dial on the front of the microphone. On the front of the microphone is an dial for Volume and Gain. The volume is purely for when listening to what you say via headphones into the microphone itself. The pressing and holding that dial in changes the mode to Gain. This alllows you to increase or decrease the audio gain on the microphone. On the rear of the microphone there is a slide switch off and Focus Mode. This is designed to change the way the microphone picks up sound. With Focus mode turned on a greater amount of detail and clarity is picked up by the microphone which only improves the overall quality of the sound.
I have used this microphone for a week now and it has done its job exceedingly well. The audio quality has been fantastic in terms of speech to friends on Skype and VOIP. The audio playback from video recordings has been extremely clear and the quality excellent. In my opinion the microphone is well made and is extremely attractive.
The quality on the outside matches the quality on the inside. The audio pickup from the cardioid microphone has been excellent. I spent a small amount of time with a set of headphones plugged connected directly to the microphone and took my time to use the Volume and Gain controls, for my purposes the microphone picked up my speech really well.
The intended purpose of this microphone is to allow recording of music, whether it is vocals or an instrument, unfortunately I have been unable to test this design feature as I neither play an instrument or am able to sing. Overall the Microphone is an excellent choice if you are like me who want good quality audio recording for youtube purposes. It is rather expensive but in my experience spending money on a quality item rather than going for the cheaper option does have its benefits.
At the time of writing this review the current price on this microphone is £130 and if you are serious about youtube or for that matter a musician who wants to make music on the go then make sure you consider this somewhere at the top of your shopping list. The Blue Spark Digital clearly deserves our performance award based on the overall quality and in my opinion, deserves the award for design due to the beautiful aesthetics and overall build quality.
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